the best seat in the house

This is one of my very favorite spaces in our home.

Reading Nook

It is a built-in cedar bench with much-needed storage.  I love built-ins of any kind because they are just so custom to each house. We left built-in shelves behind in our previous dining room and living room.  The only thing better than built-ins might be pocket doors.

Reading Nook

This is a special place where we like to curl up and read a book when time allows. In the winter, the baseboard heat pumps right up onto the seat making it even cozier.  Said baseboard is due for a coat of glossy white paint this spring.

Reading Nook

Over the holidays we added top down/bottom up shades. I was really committed to the idea of these shades so that we could always have the top down yielding a perfectly clear view. Our bed faces the window so it is spectacular to wake up to the sun peeking through the woods. We see the most beautiful early morning pink skies and evening lavender clouds.

And lately we’ve been waking up to snow dusting our holly trees.  It’s the little things.

Reading Nook

The valance is just a strand of starfish because we are “down the shore” after all and sometimes a little kitsch is necessary.  The salvaged piece above the window was a Brimfield honeymoon find.  I love all of the vivid colors.

Reading Nook (5 of 13)

Remember our garden rake belt hook?  Well, there it is.

  Reading Nook (3 of 13)

  That’s it.  The best seat in the house.

Reading Nook

Check out the rest of the salvage style room here.

my phinds

Hola!  I had a looong weekend celebrating the marriage of two of our close friends.  The bash was held at a gorgeous 19th century mansion that offered lots of old world charm.  I have a ton of pictures to review and then I will share a full recap on the wedding and how it was styled.  Stay tuned!

But today my friends, I’ve got some vintage eye candy.  Just a bit since I obviously was pre-occupied this weekend.  Last week I stopped in a local consignment shop that I have just been dying to get to.  A couple of weeks ago my blogging buddy Holly documented her trip to Phantastic Phinds and I knew I needed to get there stat.  I soon found out that the shop’s owner reads my blog so I was certainly destined to go.  (Hi Angela!)  No more delays.  I made it.  And it was totally worth it.

First let me tell you that the shop is so neatly curated chock full of vintage goodies from furniture to accessories.  I tend to expect consignment shops to be a mixed bag of housewares from different eras but Angela really does a- well a phantastic job selecting what she brings into the shop.  Only the best stuff is for sale.

Since putting the Christmas decorations away, I feel like our built in shelves are kind of bare so I picked up a few accessories to add to the vintage camera collection already on display.  My favorite find being this awesome glass flask.

It gets even better. There is a second screw top cap inside.

I also picked up a vintage yarn holder. I am no knitter so I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a yarn holder. It is like a delightful little metal cage that adds some depth to the shelf.

We’ve been discussing lighting for the area around the built ins in the living room. At the last-minute I added a desk lamp to my loot. The price was right so I figured I’d give it a shot. Unfortunately, I don’t think it fits the space mostly because it is too big so the hunt continues for lighting. We’ve got a plan B. As for the lamp’s future, I’m certain I will find another use for it…perhaps at my sewing desk (whenever I start sewing).

Sooo the bookshelves still need some tweaking but I think we’re onto something with the vintage camera collection, family photos, old books and our newest vintage accessories.  I love it when a plan comes together.

I also had a great time meeting and shopping with another reader, Jennie from Love ‘n Fresh Flowers. She is a local floral extradonairre bringing the Philly area it’s first flower CSA. How cool is that?

A lot of shout outs today, huh?

Linking to:
Her Library Adventures
Apron Thrift Girl

pop art

Merry! Merry!  Are you ready for the big guy to visit?  We are all set over here!

I’ve got just one last Christmas DIY project to share. In fact, it is not really Christmasy at all but coordinates with my choice of decor this season.

Tell me the truth, are you sick of the vintage sheet music and book pages that are all over the place these days? I might be getting close but I’m still fully embracing the trend…for now.

I was inspired to make a paper mache bowl after I saw one in the pages of BHG’s DIY magazine last month.  I thought it looked fun and pretty easy.  I was right.  Here’s what you need…

  • Paper of your choice.  It doesn’t have to be sheet music.  It could be scrapbook paper, newspaper or perhaps something meaningful you want to preserve but don’t mind if it takes on a new form – like children’s schoolwork.
  • Mod Podge or glue and water solution.
  • A bowl to use as a template.
  • Saran wrap.

Cover the bowl in saran wrap.

Then apply pieces of paper to the saran wrapped bowl with the mod podge.  I used a sponge applicator.  Overlap as necessary. Once you’ve covered the whole bowl with paper. Coat the now “paper bowl” with more mod podge to create a shellac and seal it all in.  Let it dry. 

 The paper will harden and take on the shape of the bowl.  You can separate it from the saran wrap.  I found that one layer of paper wasn’t enough though.  See how thin it is?

Flip the bowl template over and cover with the saran wrap.  Apply more paper with mod podge as above.  Apply as many layers as you want just let it dry in between.

Once it is all dry, trim any paper corners that are poking out of the top of the bowl.  Easy, right?  This would be a fun project to do with kids too.

Go ahead and display it however you like!  Of course, I chose some vintage ornaments to deck out the paper mache bowl.

I feel the need to disclose that 2 Shiny Brites were broken in the making of this post…I know. It was terrifying to take 2 vintage ornaments out of circulation.  Shiny Brite lovers everywhere mourn.

Linking to:

Saved by Suzy


office tour

Comin’ atchya live from my home office today! 

As a part time blogger and full time work from homer, I spend no less than 80% of my waking hours in this little yellow room so it is important that I get it just right.  Althought I still have a few projects on the horizon for this room it is close enough for a reveal so come on in.  Let me show you around.

I’ve had this little table for years.  A past roommate left it behind.  I can’t tell you how many times I considered selling it.  I’m so glad I didn’t!  The table is perfect for crafting and I don’t care how much paint/ink/glue I get on it plus it takes up minimal space. 

The vintage area rug was found at an estate sale in the spring.  I knew then that I wanted the color scheme for this room to be orange, green & yellow.  The rug seemed to be a heavy, dark anchor for this otherwise light, bright room.  Plus it was hand hooked and in great shape!

This might just me my favorite vintage little nook in the whole house.  It is a close second to the sunroom anyway.  Remember the orange bench?  I have to tell you that I get the most feedback on that find.  What a score! 

The bench looks even better surrounded by these textiles.  The only splurge and only brand new items in the entire room are the yellow rosette throw pillows.  I found them at Target on my Missoni mission by another designer.

Let’s move over here and take a peek at the few modern pieces in the room.  I found this armoire on sale a few years back and it now hides most of my craft supplies. 

I like having a few dark espresso accents in the room like the coordinating frame that displays my print of Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss that I got on a trip to Vienna after graduating college.  Who knew Gustav’s colors would go so well with my office?  Oh and as you pass by, high five the antique glove mold that I found at the Brooklyn Flea.

Meet the girls.  The grey antique dressform is Cecilia.  She is a big boned girl who is adjustable in size.  Did you spy the old wine rack down there on the floor?  It holds fabric scraps.

Isabelle is our petite dressform.  She’s a Singer made mold that replicates an actual (skinny) woman’s measurements.  The original model’s name is in the mold.  Cree-py.  But these girls make great props.

Ok, reversing sides of the room now.  Remember the dyed coffee filter wreath?  Here she is again.

The reality is that I spend the majority of my time at this little built in desk.  I love the architectural charm that is original to our 1949 house.

The desk is adjacent to the printing station which is housed in the vintage green cabinet.  Don’t you love how I hide all of the office clutter?

And how could I not mention the pulldown school map of Pennsylvania?  This map has influenced and shaped the color pallet of the entire room.   

I am not sure which feature I love more.  The orange & green school map or the orange bench on the opposite wall.  What do you think?

Ok well thanks for visiting my office!  I will keep you posted on upcoming projects in here.

Linking to:
Visit thecsiproject.comsouthern hospitalityHOG
Mod Vintage Lifea beach cottage


my fix

Due to the extreme heat that I keep complaining about, I didn’t go junking at all this weekend.  I pretty much went directly from air conditioning to air conditioning as much as possible.  I considered flea marketing this morning but slept in instead.  I still had to get my vintage fix some where.  I took to some antique shops instead.

I picked up a few caddys from Not Just Antiques in Glenside, PA.  They gave me a good price because they’re packing up and moving into Mainly Shoes and More in Mt. Airy.  Can’t wait to check out the new location.

I really like the shape of the low one.  It is great for corralling and displaying things.  Currently my vintage mother of pearl silverware is on display in the dining room built ins.

I found the others at a new shop in North Wales, PA called Bowman’s Emporium.  This was the third visit I’ve made to this shop and I’ve never left empty handed.  The prices are really great.  I got the following 3 items for my evolving home office for just over $20.

I love this chippy yellow old school wine rack.  I’m not using it for wine though. 

Turns out that it makes the perfect fabric rack.

Here it is in its new home in the office near the vintage dress forms. 

I picked up this wirey magazine rack for my design magazines that are always on hand.  It makes me really happy.

And the fabulous retro Birch Beer glass is now a pen holder on my desk.  I love love love the aqua & pink!

That sums up my buys for this week.  What vintage treasures did you find?

Linking to:

Southern Hospitality Blog

Vintage Mod Life

Apron Thrift Girl

Twice Owned Tuesdays

say cheese

Built ins.

That was a term that I was always passively searching for in the real estate listings when we were house hunting. Original built ins and pocket doors. We ended up with 3 sets of built ins throughout the house. No pocket doors but I’m over it.

I love our built ins! Here’s what they looked like the day we moved in. Ignore all of the stuff. At one point there were doors on the bottom but the last owner removed them. I’d like to put some back on…eventually.

The last owners also painted the walls behind the shelves red. There’s been lotsa red up in here. It was just too much. And felt a little too modern for my vintage self. While the red did contrast nicely with the white, everything that got put on the shelf seemed to just blend into the color. There wasn’t enough contrast.

So…I painted them. A glossy, refreshing white! But I started with primer to cover up all of the red.

Ryan removed one shelf on the right so we could fit the TV rather than have it on the mantel. This was the great compromise of the living room.

Luckily, we have this pretty fabulous collection of vintage cameras. Ryan’s dad was quite the photographer in his hey day. A couple of years ago, he gave me all of his old cameras. I held onto them hoping to display them in a unique way some day.

Looks like that day is today!

We’ve displayed them amongst old and new family photos. This is still a work in progress. We need to add more pics. The idea is to have different eras of pictures nestled amongst the different camera models.

Check it out closely…

Here’s a Super 8 movie camera. It’s displayed upside down. I love this one! Super 8s have been making a comeback especially on the wedding scene.

This one is probably the oldest of the group. It didn’t come from Ryan’s family collection. I got this one when I was a kid from one of my grandparents.

Up top there is a Polaroid Land camera. I love the accordion-like detail on this one. Below it is a Kodak Brownie, I believe, plus some miscellaneous lenses.

Here’s a bowl of the coolest ice blue flash bulbs. These were too pretty to not include in the vignette.

Rounding out the shelves is this old school typewriter. Love it! I found it in a dusty corner of my parent’s basement about 5 years ago and have had it out ever since. Everyone comments on it.

So there you have it. All of these cool antiques belonged to different family members of ours. I am so thankful that no one throws anything away!

Linking to:
Primitive & Proper
Between Naps on the Porch